Founder’s Corner: Ottawa Gatineau Masjids/ Musallahs Under Locked Down and Reduced Capacity

Dr Emdad Khan.

Ottawa Gatineau has over 20 Masjids and Musallahs who provide different levels of regular prayer services. Some of them provide a range of other services but here we will focus on day-to-day prayer services under Covid-19.

During COVID-19 first wave from Mid March 2020 to Mid June 2020, all the masjids/ musallahs were closed as Ontario allowed only a maximum of 5 persons.

But after Mid June 2020, Ontario allowed the masjids/ musallahs to open with 1/3 capacity for prayer, wedding, and funeral services. Except few musallahs, most of the masjids/ musallahs were offering regular five prayers until December 25, 2020.

Unfortunately, 2nd lockdown happened on 26th December 2020 until February 15, 2021, during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19. During these 50+ days, Ontario restricted capacity for regular prayer, wedding or funeral services, a maximum of up to 10 persons.

During the second locked down period only, few masjids were open for 5 regular prayers.

We like to thank SNMC management, volunteers and musalles for providing one of the best prayer services. Unlike other masjids/ Musallahs, there were 6 shifts of Isha salah each 10 and 4 shifts of Fajr salah with 10 each and Zuhr, Asr and Maghreb, each 3 shifts each 10. In addition, there were special arrangements for seniors.

After 50 days of second lock down, on 16 February Tuesday   Fajr at 6pm at SNMC masjid, despite heavy snow and difficulties over 60 persons attended.

Alhamdu Lillah, the doors of mercy open.

Masjids/ Musallahs follow city health guidelines: 2-meter distances, face mask, hand sanitization. They are safer and have tranquility compared to groceries and shopping malls.

We meet brothers and sometimes sisters at groceries and shopping malls.

We request all brothers and sisters, please come to the house of Allah and let us under the pandemic be closer to Allah swt Ameen.

We feel encouraged, as we see attendance in regular prayers at SNMC is increasing. Currently, attendance are as follows, at Isha (100-125), Fajr (60 -70), Maghrib, Zuhr and Asr (40 -60).

Let SNMC and other masjids excel in activities and be an example in each activity. prayers, social and community services. Quran learning and teaching for kids, youths, sisters, and adults.  We provide youths’ activities education and sports.